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Wave of Muni Defaults to Spur Layoffs, Social Unrest: Whitney
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Wave of Muni Defaults to Spur Layoffs, Social Unrest: Whitney

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Wave of Muni Defaults to Spur Layoffs, Social Unrest: Whitney

A wave of defaults by state and local governments will spark a selloff in the muni bond market, hurting US economic growth and stocks and causing social unrest, Meredith Whitney told CNBC.

More on CNBC...

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Bill Gross Continues His Fixed Income CEF Buying Spree - Seeking Alpha

Last week, Bill Gross purchased muni bond closed-end funds. This week, he continued the buying spree, and bought more muni funds, but also diversified by buying high yield, corporate and floating rate bond funds. There was heavy buying on Monday and Tuesday, but I did not yet see any SEC filings for Wednesday, so this round of purchases may be completed.
The total buys since December 8 total over $18.5 million. Mr. Gross is a billionaire, but much of his net worth is likely tied up in company stock and other illiquid assets, so an $18 million purchase using liquid discretionary funds seems significant.
Since the original purchases last week, some of the muni bond closed-end funds have appreciated about 4%. Just today, the NMUNP index (Nuveen Municipal Closed-End Fund Exchange Traded Index) was up 2.87%. It has recovered part of its losses, but is still down about 10% from the highs in September.
Many muni bond closed-end funds yield around 7% on a tax exempt basis, which is equivalent to over 10% for those in the top income tax bracket.

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